Mercedes-Benz Arocs SLT heavy haulers weigh in for Collett
Our two fantastic new Mercedes-Benz Arocs SLTs have completed their first major assignment.
Collett’s Heavy Lifts Project Director Eric Crosby oversaw the planning and delivery of the first major contract in which the two trucks worked together, which entailed transporting a pair of huge steam boilers from Rotterdam Docks, Holland to a paper mill in Snodland, Kent. Each boiler was 15 metres long, 4.7 metres wide, 4.35 metres long, and weighed 85 tonnes.
Both boilers were destined for a new power plant being constructed at an existing paper mill, a repeat of a project previously undertaken three years ago for the same client to a site in Selby, close to our Heavy Lift Terminal in Goole.
Originating in Germany the boilers travelled by road and then barge to Rotterdam. Each one was then lifted out of the barge and loaded to two awaiting multi-axle modular Scheuerle inter-combi trailers for onward transport to Snodland, Kent.
The Arocs are equipped with hydraulic systems and Rockinger couplings front and rear, designed specifically for use with the multi-axled Scheuerle modular trailers on which the boilers were carried. The 200-mile journey took the trucks along stretches of the M11 and M25 motorways, and over the Thames at the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.
Both are 4163 models, from Scottish Dealer Western Commercial, they feature BigSpace cabs mounted on steel-sprung 8×4 chassis, and are powered by top-rated, 460 kW (625 hp) variants of the advanced OM 473 15.6-litre in-line six-cylinder engine. One is plated for operation at 250 tonnes GCW, the other at 180 tonnes.
They feature the ground-breaking Turbo Retarder Clutch, which works in conjunction with the 16-speed Mercedes PowerShift automated transmission, in place of the traditional manual gearbox and torque converter clutch set-up.
Designed to be wear-free and fuel-efficient, the Turbo Clutch is capable of handling and delivering some 3,000Nm of torque, significantly more than a torque converter. It also incorporates its own, powerful integrated retarder; without this, a separate retarder would be necessary to assist the high-performance engine brake in bringing a fully-loaded 250-tonne rig safely to a halt.
Geoff Davies, Western Commercial’s dedicated Heavy Haulage & SLT Specialist, and an expert on the sector, also supplied Collett with a pair of Actros tractor units – a 120-tonne 2651 model and a 2548 plated at 68 tonnes – earlier this year.
Managing Director Dave Collett added: “Heavy haulage can vary so much from one task to the next that you don’t really start to see the whole picture until a vehicle has been in service for a couple of years. In our business, the only way to properly test a truck is on the job, over a long period of time, so that’s what we’ll now be doing with these Mercedes-Benz units.”
“We’ll continue to benchmark their performance against our other heavy trucks, focusing particularly on their fuel efficiency but also their maintenance costs, driveability and comfort. They need to demonstrate longevity too – vehicles like this don’t come cheap, and not until they’ve provided efficient, reliable service for five years or more will they really repay the investment. On the evidence of this first proper challenge, though, it’s fair to say the early signs are very promising indeed. The Arocs performed superbly and our drivers were full of praise.”